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Monday, July 8, 2013

Integrity - Do You Have It?

It's a word not talked about a whole lot these days, but it's an important word in the walk of a Christian striving to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Having integrity is what separates a Christian from the rest of the world.  We're called to be holy....to be set apart. Integrity sets us apart.  It's what shows the world whether we're being hypocrites or not.  

We can have integrity, yet mess up from time to time.  We're going to sin.  We're going to disappoint ourselves, as well as others, but having integrity means we don't have to decide whether to be honest or not.  We're honest.  Without exception.  We've got high morals.  Without exception. Having integrity is deliberately striving to live a holy life.

Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

I'm doing this post because of a conversation I had with my children today when we went to see the movie, "Monsters University".  As we paid for our tickets and went to the concession, they asked if I brought any water bottles in.  I said no because we're not supposed to (we only see a movie once or twice a year, so it's a rarity for us.).  We can take waters in to other things we go to, such as Texas Rangers' baseball games, even Disney World, but not to the movie theaters.

Having to pay $4.00 for water is definitely not something I like to do, but that's how theaters make their money. They ticket money goes for buying/leasing the movies to play.  The concession money pays for the employees, heating/air conditioning, building, etc.  Cheating the theater out of their money isn't having integrity, is it?  It's not being honest. It's not having strong moral principles.

Let's think of other ways we can show integrity:

Paying our taxes....not cheating by not reporting some things that we should.

Finding something in our shopping cart when we get to the car, but not returning to pay for the extra item.

Receiving too much change back, but not telling the cashier.

Telling the truth instead of lying to receive a special discount on food, clothing, etc. (Senior Citizen's discount, etc.)

Not doing someone's work for them (homework, schoolwork, contest entries, applications, scholarships, etc.)

Tell the truth, even if you will get into trouble because of it.

Say you're sorry if you make a mistake. Don't try to cover it up.

Respect the property of others.  If it's not yours, don't take it. Don't touch it without asking.

Obey the laws of the land.  Don't litter. Don't speed. Don't think you're above the law.

There are others we could list, but this is a good start.  Remember that you are an example to those around you.  Others who know you are a Christian are looking to you as an example and possibly a role model.  What are you showing them?  A life of integrity?  Or a life of a hypocrite, claiming to follow Jesus, but doing your own thing?  Again, none of us are perfect, but integrity is something we must be striving for in order be be striving to follow Jesus Christ.

These ideas of integrity shouldn't be that hard.  They shouldn't be that difficult, should they?  If they are, perhaps we need to examine our hearts....search the scriptures to find ones that point our lives towards Him even more.  

Integrity.  It's worth it.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 
Proverbs 2:6-8

Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Psalm 26:1-3

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